Tired of vampires? Well not so fast. This is a different kind of vampire (no sparkles here.) These are termed “Virals” and they are very scary.
Synopsis: In the recess of the Amazonian mountains a virus is discovered which scientists believe may extend human life, as well as some other physically enhancing features. Naturally the US government has to be involved, for military uses of course. Drama ensues and the virus is inadvertently transported back to the US with disastrous results.
Definitely horror, where it is told pre-apocalypse and post-apocalypse with some interesting dystopian societies thrown into the works. With two apparent factions – “Virals” and humans or “Souls” competing, it is definitely War. One group needing food, the other striving for survival, but it’s a lot more involved than it sounds.
My Thoughts: Justin Cronin sure can tell a story. A master story teller, he is definitely the loquacious type. Within this book he tells it layer upon layer embedding the stories of each of the characters within the larger plot, which I believe is Justin Cronin’s signature style. I have read that this is his methodology in his Pen/Hemingway Award winning novel Mary and O’Neil. Which is now on my tbr list along with his other book The Summer Guest. For those whom are not fans of horror, I would recommend you check his other work out.
The characters are very well developed within these embedded tales which makes it an absolute page turner even for 762 (ARC) pages. You will not even notice that it’s a tome. Its done that well.
It will suck you in, surprise you (I thought I had guessed the next twist more than a few times- nope), make your heart beat, and I even cried at one point (I don’t cry.) It is a grand escapist book. A perfect summer read. It is no wonder Ballantine has promoted it so vigorously. You may even want to take a few days off before starting this, or be prepared for little sleep; or even better, take it on vacation.
I loved the fact that the book is broken down into short”ish” chapters. You can read bits here and there and not feel too committed to a long sitting. Yet you feel like you could read it all in one sitting… but good luck trying at 784 published pages.
I believe I have heard there is a movie in the works? Two others books are in the making as sequels and I am bummed that I will have to wait 6 years to see the conclusion to this saga. I give this a 4.5 stars.
For more information on the book, the author, as well as purchasing links please see Layers of Thought's preview for The Passage.
For other excellent reviews on the book see Lilly’s at Reading Extravaganza, Ken’s at Neth Space, Firefly’s Book Blog, Adele at Unbound, a new reader Lisa Bibliophiliac, and a contrary opinion from Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who tried it on audio. Please, if I missed your review let me know.
For an interesting and short interview with Cronin from NPR around The Passage - you can see how articulate this English professor is. I have a funny feeling he's one of those folks that just talks and talks.
Have a fantastic Thursday everyone, and happy first day of July. Thanks for reading Layers of Thought!